A group of international students from the University of Windsor are speaking out against holiday political correctness.
The students, who come from a variety of countries and practice different religions, say they love hearing the greeting "Merry Christmas." And they made a YouTube video to prove it.
In the video, students of a number of races and religions are seen decorating a Christmas tree, building a ginger bread house and baking Christmas cookies as Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree plays.
Several of the students wish family from overseas a merry Christmas. One does so in French.
"From all types of religions and beliefs and non-religions, too, nobody has ever felt bad about it," said international student advisor Henrique Chacon. "They feel included when somebody comes to them and says, 'merry Christmas.'"
In an effort to be politically correct, several Canadians now avoid saying, "Merry Christmas," in case they offend someone who's not Christian.
But the international students at the University of Windsor say that doesn't make sense.
For several of them, it's their first time in Canada during Christmas.
Serikkali Zhabulov is from a Muslim background in Kazakhstan and said he likes being wished a Merry Christmas.
"I can say back, 'Merry Christmas.' It's very nice because it's a huge holiday," he said.
"I enjoy it when someone says, 'merry Christmas.' It feels good. It's from the bottom of the heart," said Amin Nadir, a Muslim from Pakistan.
Orlando d'Souza is Catholic from India and Saudi Arabia and finds nothing wrong with the traditional holiday greeting.
"There's nothing offensive in it. 'Merry Christmas' is a global thing," he said. "I have friends who are here who are Muslims and Hindus, and they, themselves, celebrate Christmas even though they aren't Christians"
Maureen Onweni is Christian from Nigeria and she has noticed people are very cautious about saying merry Christmas in Canada.
It was that concern over political correctness about Christmas that led the international students to make the video. They said they want people to know that saying "Merry Christmas" is a good thing, wherever you're from.
"They want to wish you good things so why not to wish good things back?" Zhabulov said.
"I'm so happy some foreigner friends wish me 'Happy Christmas' or 'Merry Christmas,' " said Hangyu Hu, a Buddhist from China. "I'm so happy."
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